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Georgian MFA: Moscow Tries to Legalize ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ in Abkhazia

Russian efforts to delay the return of Georgian Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees amounts to an attempt “to legalize the results of ethnic cleansing” committed during the armed conflict in the early 90s in Abkhazia, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said on July 17.

The statement was made in response to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks that Moscow was against linking the signing of a non-use of force treaty with the signing of a document on IDP/refugee return.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that “the initiative to separate the two organically combined issues” was totally unacceptable and the move was “an attempt to revise all documents on the conflict in Abkhazia that Georgia adopted within the UN, OSCE and CIS.”

Officials in Tbilisi are opposed to a treaty on the non-use of force without firm guarantees and a detailed timeframe and terms for IDP and refugee return, initially to Gali and Ochamchire districts of Abkhazia.

Tbilisi also refuses to sign such a treaty on the grounds that Russian peacekeeping forces currently stationed in the Abkhaz conflict zone can not act as guarantors of any agreement.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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